LB Sees LEVERAGE Season 5 Episode 3

by Larry Brody

Something’s wrong here. It’s been wrong all season, but I brushed it aside. Now, though, I’m forced to face this unpleasant fact:

I love the LEVERAGE characters and their interaction. It used to be the main reason I watched the show. Now it’s the only reason because as far as the plots go – I don’t get ’em.

Specifically, I haven’t been able to follow the endings, to see how what I’ve seen on the screen in the last 10 minutes of the show has led to the resolution in the last two minutes. This week’s episode, “The First Contact Job,” took my problem to a new extreme. I have absolutely no idea what happened at the end even though I rolled the episode back and re-watched half a dozen times.

Nothing computes. I know what should have happened. I know what was intended to have happened. But the only way I can make the ending work is if I pretend those necessary ingredients were on the screen even though they weren’t.

Was it a big fail in the editing? Even bigger than usual? Or was it a script failure? Network notes about losing difficult complexity killing the crux of the scam? I have no way of knowing, but I do know this: Next week is LEVERAGE’s last chance to make me love it. I mean it this time.

Speaking of LEVERAGE, and of scam/heist shows in general, last night’s big fail also pointing out something else to me: In this, the Computer Era/Information Age, teams doing big cons and/or elaborate thefts simply aren’t needed anymore. All that’s been needed to solve any of the problems the LEVERAGE team has faced since its inception is:

The character called Hardison, played by Aldis Hodge.

He’s the computer genius, see, who provides the underpinning and special effects for everything Nate Ford/Timothy Hutton and Company do. Only – why? In the real world, if you had a guy who could change interweb reality the way Hardison can, he wouldn’t be just one of your guns – he’d be the whole armory.

With a few lines of code, this guy can bankrupt any corrupt business baddy and reward any needy victim. With a few more lines, he can undo any damage to any victim’s career and reputation and put the blame where it belongs: Yep, on the baddy again. He can even create computer orders that release innocents from jail, and make any Mr. Evil look like an escaped lifer who has to be picked up and locked up again…forever.

So why do it any other way?

About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.